As a result of former United States President Donald Trump signing the Farm Bill, hemp became legal at the federal level. Consequently, the cannabis industry developed many new products incorporating new minor cannabinoids.
These are new derivatives with chemical structures comparable to THC, the most widely used psychoactive cannabis molecule, although most are not psychoactive.
However, the Farm Bill has allowed the industry to manufacture and distribute cannabis products with cannabinoids that have psychoactive effects too.
THC-O acetate (or ATHC) is one of these novel compounds. It is a manufactured cannabinoid that has piqued the interest of many users but also raised various questions about its legality and safety.
What Exactly is THC-0 Acetate?
THC-O, also meaning THC-O-acetate, is a secondary cannabinoid produced by converting delta-8 THC (which is mainly produced by the conversion of CBD) or delta-9 THC. THC-O is a powerful psychoactive compound, and it is said to have a psychoactive impact that is three times as strong as delta-9 THC, which lasts three times as long.
Since it is not naturally present in the cannabis plant, it makes sense that THC-O differs from several other preexisting derivatives like CBD and delta-9, both found in high concentrations in the plant. According to US Patent No. 10,792,584, turning cannabis into THC-O involves at least one patented procedure.
Is It a Synthetic Cannabinoid?
Some sources have asserted that THC products that are not derived directly from hemp are “synthetic,” rendering them illegal irrespective of the legality of hemp in the United States. Stated below is the main reason why this is not the case:
Typically, synthetic cannabinoids aren’t made from plants; instead, they’re made in a lab from other chemicals. To further comprehend synthetic cannabis, let’s look at K2 (commonly known as “spice”), a prominent synthetic cannabinoid once peddled as a street narcotic.
A wholly synthetic chemical, K2 is not derived from hemp or any natural cannabis ingredient. It is often sprayed on plants to look like cannabis, but it doesn’t have any organic material. Instead, it comprises a series of compounds chemically similar to derivatives of cannabis.
On the contrary, THC-O is Not synthesized but Isomerized.
In other words, THC-O is derived from hemp. Turning CBD to THC-O is known as “isomerization,” and it has been used to make cannabis products since the 2000s after a renowned researcher obtained a patent for converting CBD to Delta-8-THC.
What is The Legality Status of THC-O in The USA?
Natural hemp and other naturally occurring derivatives like cannabis oil are now lawful in the United States, provided less than 0.3 percent delta 9 THC in them. However, a THC-related chemical compound like THC-O generated by chemically modifying legal CBD can raise controversy about its legality.
However, under the Controlled Substances Act, neither Congress nor the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has taken action to shut down manufacturing. Let’s zoom into the THC -O legal issue at the two administrative levels.
At The Federal Level
The current interpretation of the legislation indicates that THC-O is permissible under federal law when it is synthesized from hemp. It took manufacturers several years of trial and error to figure out how to produce hemp-derived THC products using a process known as “isomerization.”
Other hemp derivatives made from federally legal hemp, such as Delta-8, Delta-10, and THC-O, are all available for purchase on the open market. But why are these isomers like THC-O legal?
According to the legal definition, hemp is defined as “Cannabis sativa L. and any section, including the seeds, and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, and salts of isomers with no more than a 0.3 percent concentration of THC.”
Technically speaking, hemp isomers such as THC-O and Delta-8 are classified as “derivatives” containing less than 0.3 percent Delta-9-THC. Thus, making THC-O a legal substance at the moment.
At The State Level
After learning about the federal legal status of THC-O products, you must ascertain whether THC-O is lawful according to state law.
True, some state laws have outright prohibited THC-O and other THC products, regardless of whether they are derived from hemp. Numerous state regulations avoid directly addressing THC-O but may regard THC generated from hemp or THC analogs as a separate category.
While some of these regulations directly address Delta-8 and not THC-O, they render THC-O unlawful by default because it must be manufactured from Delta-8.
For the time being, the best approach to assess THC-O’s legality in a specific location is to examine its hemp and Delta-8 state laws.
What do THC-O Effects Feel Like?
THC-O-acetate is a prodrug, which is inert until the body metabolizes it. That means its impacts may take longer than other THC products. Some also claim THC-O has higher bioavailability than other THC forms, meaning more of what you take gets into your bloodstream.
It is often believed that THC-O is three times as powerful as Delta-9 THC. Lower doses are described as euphoric and mildly sedative, while higher concentrations are characterized as borderline psychedelic and sedative-like.
Certain users characterize THC-O as a blend of mental and physical euphoria, some even describing it as a psychedelic cannabinoid producing spiritual or reflective trip.
THC-O has the following effects:
Enhanced mood and happiness
Body and mind at ease
It’s important to remember that THC-O’s effects vary depending on the user’s THC tolerance and dose.
Is THC-O Safe For Consumption?
Manufacturing THC-O is risky. Acetic anhydride is combustible and presents fire and explosive danger. Like BHO, it can only be created inadequately equipped facilities by experts with enough experience handling chemicals like acetic anhydride.
Meanwhile, some argue that ingesting potent THC-O is also risky due to the lack of study on its effects on the body. Therefore, you should do your research before using it like any unregulated product. Similarly, preliminary studies exist to assess THC-O’s possible medical advantages.
However, it interacts with the body like THC, and experts anticipate it will have several of the same medicinal benefits.
Can Law Enforcements Detect THC-O in a Lab Test?
THC-O, like most potent hemp derivatives, whether natural or synthetic, is likely to be identifiable by drug tests.
Some views contend that because THC-O-acetate is manufactured, users are less likely to test positive for cannabis usage when subjected to a drug test. On the other hand, tests can rarely distinguish between THC compound and its analogs, and your chances of testing positive are high.
If you undergo a random drug test or are at risk of going through a random drug test, you should avoid using THC-O just in case.
How to Find High-Quality THC-O Products?
When considering hemp-based products, it’s best to proceed with caution when you purchase online. But, given the high potency of the cannabinoid and the lab processing it goes through during manufacture, that guidance is even more critical with THC-O.
There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a high-quality and potent THC-O product for the first time:
Hemp Plant Source
To ensure safety and legality, you’re better off purchasing THC-O products made entirely from Cannabis Sativa plants cultivated on US soil that contain less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight. Purchasing THC-O goods made in the United States ensures that your product complies with all applicable legal regulations and safety standards.
Lab Testing Reports
Third-party laboratories provide this document to attest that THC-O products comply with the specifications stated on the label.
Additionally, it recognizes the absence of pesticides, heavy metals, or molds that may be hazardous to human health. So choose a THC-O brand that makes lab testing records available for their products on their website.
Prioritizing the most outstanding products requires meticulous attention to detail at each stage of the extraction process. From high-quality hemp cultivation to correct extraction methods, it is critical to ensure that your product of choice is free of toxins and impurities.
The Future of THC-O Acetate
As with items containing delta-8 and delta-10 THC, THC-O products have a legal status that lies in the legal gray area between hemp (which is legal throughout the country) and marijuana.
State regulators and legislators are currently engaged in a game of whack-a-mole with the expanding number of hemp-derived chemicals, prohibiting innovative compounds from having more derivatives replace them.
Despite still being a relatively obscure cannabinoid, THC-O is becoming increasingly popular among cannabis consumers. As a result, it demonstrates that THC-O has a bright future as long as it doesn’t meet any legal complications.
What Are The Types of THC-O Products Available?
CBD gummies and D8 and D9 gummies are among the most popular ways to take cannabinoids, and THC-O gummies are no exception. Cannabis users enjoy consuming sweet and fruity candies to attain the proper cannabis sensation.
Furthermore, because each gummy contains a fixed amount of THC-O, THC-O gummies are generally simple to dose and considered legal. Certain people like THC-O gummies because they are inconspicuous and can be consumed anywhere without drawing attention to yourself.
Some are even gluten-free and organic, making them acceptable to people with dietary limitations.
THC-O Vape Carts
Vape carts equipped with THC-O are widely available on the internet. Such carts are available in both disposable and reusable packaging along with a wide variety of sizes facilitating the user to pick the one that works for them.
Such carts include the THC-O extracts and some other ingredients including- terpenes and essential oils that enable the user to have a smooth high buzzy experience. Many sellers provide these carts in various flavors, which customers can use in conjunction with a standard vape pen.
In recent years, several companies have introduced products that contain THC-O, a synthetic cannabis ingredient generated from hemp that is legal in some states. THC-O, unlike other hemp-derived chemical compounds like CBD, CBG, or CBN, is not naturally found in the hemp plant, but it exhibits psychoactive properties and happens to be lawful.
This is primarily because hemp isn’t an illegal substance. Currently, many of the same online shops selling CBD also sell THC-O. (and delta 8, delta 10, and HHC). In addition, THC-O is available in convenience stores, some vape shops, and even gas stations.